The NHS Trust Development Authority, Monitor and the Care Quality Commission have today published a report which summarises the progress made by the first 11 trusts placed into the new special measures regime in July 2013.
Today’s report says that the factors for success are the strength of leadership within the trust, acceptance by trusts of the scale of the challenges they faced, alignment between managers and clinicians and the willingness to accept external support.
Professor Richards emphasised that the trusts that took ownership and early action saw the most improvements.
The report highlights the work by Monitor and the NHS TDA to support the eleven trusts in special measures. This included providing partnerships with trusts which are performing well in the areas the special measures trust has issues and appointing an Improvement Director to ensure trusts stick to their action plans.
Practical measures that led to significant changes at some of the trusts included: the recruitment of extra staff, better systems to manage the way patients are moved throughout their stay from admission to discharge (known as “patient flow”), better management of those patients with life threatening conditions and having a renewed emphasis on the quality of care provided.
Two trusts, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust have already reached a rating of ‘good’ overall, and have been taken out of special measures.
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust were rated as ’requires improvement‘ and have been taken out of special measures but with additional support.
While there has been progress made at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Richards has recommended they remain in special measures for a further six months.
Despite improvements in maternity, Medway has failed to make significant overall progress and will remain in special measures after being given an overall rating of ’inadequate’. CQC will work with Monitor to consider what further urgent action should be taken to ensure the quality of care improves as quickly as possible.
Professor Sir Mike Richards said: “ The evidence in the report shows that the special measures process has brought improvements in the quality of care in most cases, which would have been unlikely without the regime.
“Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, in particular, have made a remarkable turnaround. I congratulate the hard work by staff that has underpinned this improvement. There has also been very good progress in a further three trusts.
Professor Sir Mike continued: “Although there have been improvements, it is important to emphasise that further improvements need to be made, especially in relation to safety and responsiveness.
“Our new inspection model has helped us get under the skin of hospitals. The special measures process is doing what it set out to do, and I am confident that it will lead to further improvements.”
David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, said:“Patients will already be seeing improvements at their local hospitals. But there is still more work to be done. Where trusts have yet to come out of special measures, we will make sure they deliver the improvements patients expect.”
David Flory, Chief Executive of the NHS TDA, said: “These trusts have worked hard to improve the quality of care for their patients. There is still more to do in some areas to embed these improvements and tackle outstanding issues, but overall this shows the improvement that can be made within a year.
“The NHS Trust Development Authority will continue to work with those organisations still in special measures to support them to make the changes and improvements needed.”